Thet Wai San (Khaung)

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Journalist Thet Wai San, also known as Khaung, was arrested in November 2022 and is serving a two-year prison sentence for criminal incitement, a charge Myanmar’s military regime has used broadly to stifle independent news reporting since staging a democracy-suspending coup in 2021.

In the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, coup and subsequent protests, the junta has engaged in an ongoing crackdown on Myanmar’s independent media, detaining and sentencing dozens of journalists.

Thet Wai San, a staff reporter at the local independent CJ Platform and Oway Media, was arrested on November 30, 2022, while taking photos of military raids on houses in Yangon’s Mingaladon township, according to CJ Platform editor-in-chief Min Thu Win Htut, who communicated with CPJ via email.

In December 2022, Yangon’s Mingaladon court convicted and sentenced Thet Wai San for violating Article 505(a) of the penal code, a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and false news, according to a database compiled by the local rights group Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, data compiled by the Detained Journalists Information Myanmar Facebook group, which CPJ reviewed, and Min Thu Win Htut.

CPJ did not include That Wai San on its 2022 prison census because it was not aware of her arrest at the time. 

That Wai San was being detained in Yangon’s Twantay Prison and was in good health in late 2023, according to Min Thu Win Htut. He said that CJ Platform’s reporters have either fled Myanmar or gone underground since That Wan San’s arrest and anti-state conviction.

The Myanmar Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s October 2023 emailed request for comment on That Wai San’s conviction, sentencing, health, and status in prison.